StartupQ8 3rd Event

The 3rd StartupQ8 event will be on the 15th of December and this time we have a big surprise. Dr. Naif Al-Mutuwa is going to be in one of our sessions 🙂 To me personally and with all due respect to all entrepreneurs in Kuwait, I believe that Dr. Naif is the only successful story of a modern entrepreneur we have in Kuwait. And by modern entrepreneur I mean someone who came up with an innovative idea and convert it into a global company that generates millions of dollars, employs thousands of people and adds value to the world. Dr. Naif achieved most of these goals already and more to come.

Sorry I got little bit passionate, but I’m really excited to have him with us, back to the event. So yeah we have Dr. Naif, we will also have Abdulaziz Al Loughani (one of the previous partners at to talk to us about Early Stage Funding and Hoi Wan (an experienced entrepreneur from Hong Kong) to give us a closer look into the startup scene in Hong Kong and what can we learn from it. Below is the full Agenda:

If you can’t view click here please

One more thing, for registration please use this link:  (Registration is for free of course)

The registration is supported by A Kuwaiti website where you can easily find and register in training courses and events. Dawrat is founded by Mohammad AlSuraye and he is also helping us with organizing the event.

Finally we recommend everyone to attend the Lean pre-StartupQ8 session about Lean Startup Conference (from 4PM till 7PM the same day 15th of Dec), the event will be on recorded videos about Lean Startup (we have the exclusive rights to show them in Kuwait) and it’s the biggest event about Lean Startup in the whole world. If you are interested to join, check out our previous post. If you have any questions, please contact the organizer Mijbel AlQattan.

That’s it guys, hope to see you all on the 15th of Dec and please don’t forget to register before you show up. And happy birthday to myself 🙂

Related articles:

1- The 2nd StartupQ8 Event

2- The 1st StartupQ8 Event

Lean ‘pre-party’ at the next StartupQ8 meetup

(This post is for registering to attend the broadcast of recorded highlights of The Lean Startup Conference on December 15th. If you are interested in watching the event LIVE, please contact us).


On December 3, the biggest names in the Lean Startup world and a slew of entrepreneurs will gather at The Lean Startup Conference in San Francisco. StartupQ8 was named the official simulcast partner for Kuwait City and will broadcast selected highlights of the event at the next StartupQ8 meetup, free of charge, on December 15th. Join us to watch, learn and discuss how to be more innovative, use people’s time better, and be more successful.


Attendance is free of charge. If you’d like to attend, please visit to register.


Whether you’re new to Lean Startup methods or have been putting these practices to use in your organization, this event promises to educate and inform. The Lean Startup Conference brings together innovators from startups, Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and non-profit organizations to share lessons for building profitable lean organizations. More than 30 entrepreneurs will speak about their first-hand experiences, with keynotes including:

–  Marc Andreessen, co-founder and general partner at Andreessen Horowitz

–  Steve Blank, serial entrepreneur, author, lecturer at Stanford

–  Beth Comstock, chief marketing officer at GE

–  Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup


The complete speaker list can be found on


While knowledge about the new science of entrepreneurship has gone global, startup ecosystems are always local. Come to the next StartupQ8 meetup at Global Tower at 4 pm on December 15th to meet fellow Kuwait-based entrepreneurs interested in creating and managing successful startups. We will be showing the best speeches from the conference until 7 pm, when the StartupQ8 meetup commences. A detailed blog post about the next meetup will be coming soon.


If you have any questions or comments, please contact us on twitter (@StartupQ8) or via the comments.


“Lean Startup isn’t about being cheap [but is about] being less wasteful and still doing things that are big.”

                                                                   – Eric Ries


Attendance is free of charge. If you’d like to attend, please visit to register.


To learn more about the conference and its speakers, visit The Lean Startup Conference at Read about the Lean Startup movement and principles at or on our earlier blog post at


Indicators that a startup idea is a good one

I just read this post written by Nic Brisbourne in his blog It’s about how to know if your idea is a good idea or a bad one. This post is a summary of Paul Graham essay “How to Get Startup Ideas”. Below I quote the full post (I took Nic permission already), but I highly advice you to follow both Nic blog and Paul Graham’s essays.

I always enjoy reading Paul Graham’s essays and his latest one How to get startup ideas is another great read. If you are an entrepreneur looking for ideas then I highly recommend you read the whole thing, particularly taking note of the common errors (building for a problem nobody has and trying too hard to come up with startup ideas).

I’m going to focus on one of the by-products of Paul’s essay which is a list of indicators that an idea might be good or an idea might be bad. Note that none of these are definitive evidence, they are simply signs. There will be great startups with some of the indicators of a bad idea and bad startups with some of the indicators of a good idea, but on balance good startups will have more of the good indicators and fewer of the bad ones.

Indicators of a good idea

  • It is something the founders want
  • The founders can build it
  • Few people realise it is worth doing
  • A small number of people really want it, right now, even if it’s a crappy version
  • It is on the leading edge
  • Looking back from the future the idea will seem obvious
  • The idea came because a problem was noticed, rather than because it was thought up

Indicators of a bad idea

  • Lots of people want it a little bit, but nobody wants it a lot
  • Lots of people want it a lot – if this is true someone would have built it already
  • Is in a domain the founders don’t know well”


2nd StartupQ8 Event Summary

The 2nd StartupQ8 event was amazing. Many people showed up, the speakers did great and the venue was awesome. Part of the deal with Wamda is to post the summary of the StartupQ8 event exclusively in Below is the introduction of the post and you can continue reading the post in Wamda’s blog:

“The startup scene in Kuwait is gaining momentum. On the 7thof November we had the 2nd StartupQ8 event and it was a lot of fun. Over 50 people showed up to debate and discuss new topics, and one of the best aspects- aside from the fun debates- was the diversity of the people. We had people from Kuwait, India, Jordan, Egypt, Pakistan, Poland and if you include one of our speakers, I’ll add the US. We focused on methodologies like The Lean Startup, and even discussed what Kuwait can learn from Ghana……………To continue reading please click here

Below are some more photos from the event, the videos must come later in another post:

How Should a Government Invest in Startups?

Back in May the parliament and the government approved a  law to create a US$6B fund to invest in small and medium size businesses. That was a great news right? Yes, but not until you read the new law. I believe that the people who worked in putting this law together know little about startups and in how to create a startup ecosystem. Here I decided to write a report and sit with the Commerce Minister to explain to him my perspective. So I wrote the report, but there was no more government. Shortly after that I decided to start this blog and start posting small parts of the report little by little (check related posts below).

Today I decided to post the full report,  hoping that someone will read it and find it useful. The report was created for Kuwait Fund of SMEs, but I’m sure it can be used by any government considering to invest in startups and to help in establishing a healthy Startup Ecosystem. 

Related posts:

– Building a Startup Ecosystem in Kuwait (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

– Let’s learn from Chile (Part 1, Part 2)

Let’s learn from the Angry Birds 

How to Find a Good Mentor: Seeking Parents for Your Startup

I posted my latest piece in Wamda today:

“Starting a new business is like having a baby. I’m no expert in raising kids, yet I know that when your first baby is born you’ll always seek your parent’s advice. The same thing applies when you have your first startup, you should find your parents (mentors) for your newly born baby (startup)……..” Please click here to continue reading the post in Wamda

The trip to Amman with the Geeks

I just came back from Amman, Jordan. Omar Koudsi (Co-founder of and our mentor in fishfsihme) and Wamda invited me to come to Amman and join a number of events. I went to Amman mainly to meet some mentors and get feedback in our startup and also to meet Omar and Wamda team in person.

The major event was called Mix and Mentor Event that was organized by Wamda and Oasis 500 with the participation of Geeks on a Plane. Geeks on a Plane (or GOAP) are entrepreneurs and investors from the US that make trips to different cities in the world to explore different kind of opportunities. GOAP is lead by Dave McClure and a bunch of other high profile people from the Hi-Tech industry.

I was probably the only guy from the GCC region and Omar was kind enough to invite me to attend all of the special events. The Geeks adopted me in this trip, I was with them most of the time 🙂 I used this time to get some feedback and advice for fishfishme. Below is a video and some photos from my Amman trip, mostly with the Geeks (yes, I’m really bad in recording videos and taking photos): Head Quarter

In Jeeran wearing “Ghitra” or as they call it in Jordan “Hatta” (7a6ah)

In the GOAP Bus

The Geeks from the left Kyle Wild, Jesse and Tim Falls

Wamda Mix N’ Mentors Event

A mentors session, here mentors will help you find your path

From the left Omar Koudsi, Mohhamed Alzubbi and Dave McClure

You can find tons more photos from Wamda Mix N’ Event here.
The trip was amazing and I really loved Amman and the energy around Startups. I think they are 5-6 years in front of other Arab countries in terms of development in the Hi-Tech industry. The quality of the startups over there is just great and I believe they are ready to compete globally. I’m also fortunate to meet in person Omar Koudsi, Habib Haddad, Nina Curley, Dave Mcclure, Alex Polvi, Kyle Wild, Tim Falls and many other interesting people from Jordan and the US. Can wait to back visit Amman again.

Guest Post: What is Lean Startup? by Mijbel AlQattan

Mijbel F. AlQattan is a founding partner at Cubical Services, where he provides advisory and incubation services for startups (both technology and traditional). His areas of expertise include business model development, business plan analysis and financial analysis for startups. He is speaking about the Lean Startup methodology at today’s StartupQ8 meetup, and is introducing the concept in a guest post here:

Lean Startup methodology is a new way to approach building scalable startups. As has been discussed in this blog, the difference between a startup and a small business is that startups have significant business model risk, whereas small businesses have implementation risk. Silicon Valley entrepreneur Eric Ries defines a startup as “a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.” So he set out to devise a methodology to develop successful products in those uncertain conditions, and the Lean Startup movement was born.

Lean Startup methodology is a set of practices designed to minimize the negative effects of business model risk. At its core, it preaches that you should form a set of hypothesis around your main idea, construct a minimum viable product to test those assumptions, test and analyze the results, then iterate. Central to the lean startup theory is the “Build-Measure-Learn” feedback loop. That is the essence of what the startup should be about: Ideas become products, customer response is measured, results are analyzed and the entrepreneurs decide whether to pivot or persevere.

The methodology is being widely embraced by technology entrepreneurs worldwide. Success stories like Instagram and Groupon used methods derived from the Lean Startup tenets to build their successful products. Clearly, there are also examples of successful companies which don’t particularly embrace these methods, so success stories alone shouldn’t convince you of the validity of lean practices. However, the methodology is sound and it teaches you to focus on solving customers’ needs, which is paramount to the success of any business.

If you’d like to learn more, please let us know in the comments, or attend tonight’s StartupQ8 meetup in Kuwait City at 7 pm (details here).

%d bloggers like this: